CMS (Content Management Systems)
In Web development, a content management system (CMS) is the collection of procedures used to manage Web-based work flow in a collaborative environment. These procedures can be manual or computer-based and are designed to:
- Allow for a large number of people to contribute to and share stored data
- Control access to data, based on user roles – user roles define what information each user can view or edit
- Aid in easy storage and retrieval of data
- Reduce repetitive duplicate input
- Improve the ease of report writing
- Improve communication between users
A Content Management System is designed to give you (not the geek web designer) control over your Web site while maintaining the consistency of the established site design. Changes are made through a password-protected area with a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor, much like changing a Word document.
The benefits of the CMS:
- Make site changes instantly without waiting for your “web guy” to get around to it
- Change copy in one place, and have it changed automatically in all relevant places on your site
- Avoid costly maintenance charges for minor site changes
- Add new pages to your site instantly
- Have site changes happen automatically:
- past events disappear, upcoming events appear
- have content change randomly
- have copy appear/disappear automatically on pre-set dates
- Clients or group members can access private areas of the site to view or change their own information
A CMS system may also provide tools for one-to-one marketing. One-to-one marketing is the ability of a Web site to tailor its content and advertising to a user’s specific characteristics using information provided by the user or gathered by the. For example, if you enter “digital camera,” in the sites localized search engine, the advertising banners will advertise businesses that sell digital cameras instead of businesses that sell garden products.
Additionally, you get the power of a high-performance database for dynamically distributing your content throughout your site. Many CMS systems are Open Source (free public software), are fast, well supported and easy to install. There are also many plug-ins and extensions that increase the functionality of the CMS.